How People Get Hurt in the Aftermath of a Hurricane
In the wake of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Florence, residents throughout the Carolinas are doing whatever they can to survive. People in south Florida are no strangers to hurricanes either. Since 2000, south Florida has been hit by dozens of tropical storms and depressions, as well as Hurricanes Charley, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Wilma, and Irma. In recent years, experts have predicted that we should expect to see even more large-scale hurricanes, with some reports suggesting we may even begin to see category-6 hurricanes hitting our shores soon.
But it’s not always the wind and rain that cause direct injuries and deaths in a hurricane. It’s often the long and drawn out flooding that creates dangerous circumstances for residents in the aftermath of these massive storms. Here are just a few of the ways that people are often injured after a hurricane.
If you’ve ever looked at a large ship and wondered about how all that steel could possibly float, all you need to know is that it’s a simple math equation. When the weight of the water displaced by an object is heavier than the object, it will float. Water is heavy. Even 2 feet of water in an 8-foot by 5-foot space can be heavy enough to lift and float a vehicle. Even SUVs and trucks can be floated away. People often attempt to flee flood zones by automobile. In addition to the risk of being lifted and floated away, cars can stall, leaving you stranded without food, fresh water, or any means of escape. The National Weather Service recommends that if you can’t see the lines on the road, you shouldn’t attempt to drive through it.
Lack of Access to Water and Food
Beyond the direct dangers of flooding, severe power outages and flood waters can make it impossible for people to leave their homes or shelters. This may mean they cannot get to fresh drinking water or food supplies. People have died of dehydration waiting days for help to arrive.
Medications and Medical Conditions
Many people – especially in areas where elderly populations are high – may be living with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, or respiratory problems. In normal conditions, these individuals will have regular access to routine medical care. Many individuals have weekly appointments for dialysis or respiratory treatments. They may take a number of medications every day. When cut off from medical attention and support, these vulnerable people are sometimes left to suffer without proper medical care for days or even weeks after a storm.
It’s also important not to forget that flood water often contains a lot of disease-causing elements and bacteria. Flood waters may be loaded with oil, gasoline, raw sewage, hazardous chemicals, pesticides, or worse. People with weak immune systems, the elderly, and young children are most at risk of developing serious infections and illnesses.
Boating and Offshore Injuries
Finally, let’s never forget that there are a lot of people who may be on the high seas, whether for work or pleasure, at the time a major storm hits. If you are injured while working or you lose a loved one who is lost at sea after a storm-related shipwreck, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Call a Miami Maritime Lawyer
All injuries are not the same. Whether by fire, crash, or storm, maritime injuries present unique challenges. Let Michael F. Guilford, P.A. in Miami help you recover the compensation you and your family deserve.